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        Discussion Sailplane radios - what do you like and why

#1 aeajr Sep 02, 2012 10:16 PM

Sailplane radios - what do you like and why
 
I have several new members in my club. They are thinking of getting new sailplane radios. What do you recommend?

The models I recommend they consider, that are available new, are:

JR 9503
Airtronics S10G
Futaba 8FG Super
Hitec Aurora 9

And, for those who would like to do it on a budget and don't mind doing some work to update the HW and SW, the FlySky TH9X, Turnigy 9X with ER9X and the FrSky radio module added.


So, what are your thougths on these radios for full house pure and electric gliders for contest flying? Please focus on ones you know or ones your friends like and recommend. If you have never touched it or never seen one, please don't comment on it.

#2 AWorrest Sep 03, 2012 12:28 AM

If the person can afford it, I would recommend the JR 11X2.4 (JR XG11 has similar functions plus some more) over the JR 9503. It is more flexible than either the 12X or 9503. It has all the glider functions of the 12X except for one less channel and four less knobs. And it cost much less than the 12X. It is easier to set up than the 9503. Because it can do more that the 9503 and the 11X manual is extremely terse, a person may think it is more difficult to program.

Allan

#3 lornecherry Sep 03, 2012 01:58 AM

...agree with the JR 11x, has the flexibility to fly anything and is proven (Spektrum DX18 hasn't been around that long to know if it is indeed as good as its specs suggest).

JR has a nice comfortable feel and quality sticks too. Manual sucks and was really made for those already familiar with the 9503. After a year, I am finally growing into this radio, but have leveraged this forum for setup now and again.

That said, all the other radios on your list are more than adequate with good track records and support; they are also cheaper than the 11X too.

Personally, I like the sticks/gimbals on both the JR and Futaba, the others didn't quite have the same feel. Multiplex and Jeti; although European brands and not as popular here, are also very good and the staple of many glider guiders across the pond.

As the new JR XG11 is just out, you might be able to find a deal on a used 11X for about $500 or less. Certainly, you can find a used 9503 for about 300ish and that is also worth considering.

#4 J. Wydronek Sep 03, 2012 05:32 AM

The Futaba 8fg is a fantastic radio. It is very user friendly. Programming is great for sailplanes. No satalites rx. Hands down one of the best radios out there.
2nd would be the Airteonics sd-10g

You cant go wrong with either of these radios.

Joe

#5 dephela Sep 03, 2012 06:50 AM

I keep looking at the JR XG8 as a replacement for my 9303. I have a hard time finding things it can't do. I do the same for the Aurora 9 from Hitec, a few club members have them so I'll have to see what I can do with one of those at the field.

#6 aeajr Sep 03, 2012 07:52 AM

Thanks guys. This is very useful information. Keep it coming.

#7 Soarmark Sep 03, 2012 08:06 AM

I'm an Airtonics guy, SD-10G. Very well written manual that describes the functions on the templates making it easy to program. What appears to be a very solid RF link, common with the new generation 2.4 systems. Relatively small single board receivers. Moderate cost for all the features.

Just my $ .02, but the four mentioned are all good rarios.

#8 glidermang Sep 03, 2012 09:50 AM

The JR and Airtronics are hugely popular and most likely for good reason.

Myself, I was looking to replace my EVO (great ergonomics, byzantine programming) and had almost plunked down for the Futaba-8, which I got to try. For DLG (which I do mostly) it was very nice indeed. However, at the very last moment I found a Hitec Aurora for a very good price, and that's what I'm flying now.

On the good side, the A-9 has (for me) easy programming. I use only one mix, believe it or not, for DLG: "Flaps". Along with Flight Conditions, that does everything I need. For my full-house sailplane, I found it trivial, almost, to program camber and crow; and even flaps separate from crow.

There are two things that are not right.

First, for DLG, I had to physically modify the radio: move the momentary switch, right-to-left; and spring-load the throttle lever the wrong way for flaps. However, that doesn't void the warranty, like it would for Futaba. I realize now I could just have easily used the sliders for flaps, but I was young, impatient and stupid. (Not like I am today: old, impatient and stupid.)

Second, the timer function is slow. In fact, 60 seconds of Hitec time is 68 seconds of real time.

Finally, I have not yet, in eight months, experienced anything that could be regarded as loss of signal. Not once, even at a contest with nearly thirty other flyers present. Bullet-proof signal.

Yours, Greg

#9 Mark Miller Sep 03, 2012 10:03 AM

Airtronics. Logically laid out menus, Things make sense. Great manual. Great value. Receivers fit the models we have.

You might want to look into Graupner. Great features and the choices of telemetry are outstanding. They are no longer JR based but use their own frequency hopping technology. I have just started selling these and I am very pleased.

Mark
www.isthmusmodels.com

#10 lincoln Sep 03, 2012 09:32 PM

I use two (one is a back up) Airtronics Stylus transmitters for full house. There are some programming subtleties which I haven't got used to yet, but the tx's seem pretty good. A bit thick and heavy for my taste. For many years I used a pair of Vision radios, but I'm not sure I trust them any more. I was going to use JR 8303 (I think that's the number anyway) for full house but couldn't figure out how to get reverse aileron differential with CROW, which I think is pretty useful. I use them for dlg, and they're fine for that use.

#11 aeajr Sep 28, 2012 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dephela (Post 22626485)
I keep looking at the JR XG8 as a replacement for my 9303. I have a hard time finding things it can't do. I do the same for the Aurora 9 from Hitec, a few club members have them so I'll have to see what I can do with one of those at the field.

OK, you have the very popluar 9303. Have you tried, handled the XG8 or the Aurora? did you buy something?

Inquiring minds want to know.

#12 gdjsky01 Sep 28, 2012 10:31 PM

I have a SD-10G. If all I flew was gliders that be a radio to stay with for a long long long time. But Bind-N-Fly calls. So I am thinking of selling and getting a 72mhz 9303 and 2.4 module. Comments? BNF for what you ask? Blade Helis.

#13 aeajr Sep 28, 2012 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gdjsky01 (Post 22863691)
I have a SD-10G. If all I flew was gliders that be a radio to stay with for a long long long time. But Bind-N-Fly calls. So I am thinking of selling and getting a 72mhz 9303 and 2.4 module. Comments? BNF for what you ask? Blade Helis.

Keep the SD10 and pickup a used DX6i for the BNFs.

#14 gdjsky01 Sep 30, 2012 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aeajr (Post 22863824)
Keep the SD10 and pickup a used DX6i for the BNFs.

Good advice? I sorta followed it. :D I picked up a used JR9303 2.4Ghz DSM2 on eBay for $198+15 shipping. From what I read, the 9303 is somewhat of a cut above the DX6i... or so 'they' say. So for an extra 60 bucks or so, I got a used 9303. I may not even have to sell the SD-10g.

So now I can have my sailplane cake, and eat my heli BnF. :)
For all I know, the 9303 is a capable sailplane radio as well... ;)

#15 aeajr Sep 30, 2012 03:06 PM

The 9303 would be in the same class as the SD10G as far as feature and function for sailplanes. You now have two excellent sailplane radios.

My suggestion for the DX6i was because they can often be found used for under $100 used, not because it is a superior radio. For most BnF planes the DX6i has enough capability, but now you have a excellent DSM2 radio and you got it at an excellent price. You can use it for your BnF and you can add a FrSky module, Hitec module as well if you like their receivers.

Buddy you have the best of all worlds. Enjoy them!


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